Saturday, May 28, 2016

Of How about World Goth Week, our famous trio of terror~~~

Hello  Darklings,

Well my brother and his family are now south in the Santa Cruz area enjoying their Memorial weekend vacation, one of many that they are planning to take.   In a way I’m a little jealous, it would be nice to have a Gypsy Wagon to travel here and there, but we also have to be realistic.   But we know they arrived safely Thursday evening after taking the long route there to avoid the steep climb of Highway 17 which has destroyed more than one vehicle’s transmission.

I swear I think May should be World Goth Month or have at least World Goth Week from May 22 (which is World Goth Day) through the traditional Memorial Day May 31,  that way we can also encompass the three birthdays of our Three Gentlemen of Terror Peter Cushing, Vincent Prince and Christopher Lee as well as the date when “Dracula” was published for the first time and saw the ‘light of day’ in print.

It seems to make sense to me to do that.

I mean look at it May 22 World Goth Day
                         May 26 Peter Cushing’s Birthday
 May 26  Dracula published 1897
May 27  Vincent Price’s Birthday
May 27  Christopher Lee’s Birthday

Followed by Memorial Day in the United States to remember those who fought for Freedom.

Of course Dracula by Stoker was not the first Vampire novel, that goes to John Polidori who wrote “The Vampyre”  based upon notes by Lord Byron although it was Polidori who introduced the concept of charm being deadly,  this was followed in the 1850’s by “Varney the Vampire or the Feast of Blood”  then in 1871 by Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”. but it was Stoker’s Dracula who  defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations.

            This is the 1899 American edition of Dracula.

The novel ends 7 years later with Jonathan and Mina’s son listening to them recounting their adventures but a small section was removed from the original final chapter, in which Dracula's castle falls apart as he dies, hiding the fact that vampires were ever there.
It went as follows:

    “As we looked there came a terrible convulsion of the earth so that we seemed to rock to and fro and fell to our knees. At the same moment with a roar which seemed to shake the very heavens the whole castle and the rock and even the hill on which it stood seemed to rise into the air and scatter in fragments while a mighty cloud of black and yellow smoke volume on volume in rolling grandeur was shot upwards with inconceivable rapidity.

    Then there was a stillness in nature as the echoes of that thunderous report seemed to come as with the hollow boom of a thunder-clap - the long reverberating roll which seems as though the floors of heaven shook. Then down in a mighty ruin falling whence they rose came the fragments that had been tossed skywards in the cataclysm.
  From where we stood it seemed as though the one fierce volcano burst had satisfied the need of nature and that the castle and the structure of the hill had sunk again into the void. We were so appalled with the suddenness and the grandeur that we forgot to think of ourselves.”
    — Deleted excerpt from the original Dracula manuscript

Stoker was even considering giving the title of his manuscript “The Undead” but instead changed it to the name of his anti-hero.

                         Original manuscript by Stoker with original title.

 A nephew of Stoker did write a sequel to the original story, but it was not well received.    So it is fitting that the last full week of May at least should be considered at least World Goth Week and have some sort of celebration,  after all the First of May is kicked off with Walpurgis Night which is the 30th of April or May Eve and that is when Witches and Evil things wander the land.

Sis, Doyle, Brian and I did our mini-celebration watching films that featured our favorite trio of Terror, and we are finishing it tonight with 3 movies tonight, Horror of Dracula, Madhouse and that sendup “House of the Long Shadows” which also includes John Carradine who also played Dracula at least twice.   Although this film was considered a disappointment by critics, it doesn’t matter to us, we are in it for the enjoyment and on this very warm evening we are going to watch it outside on the screen enclosed back porch while we are having ice cream for dessert.   But I also have on hand extra ice cream as well as soft drinks because I know our other neighbors are going to be peeking over the fence and want to join us and why not, the more the merrier I always say.

But next year I am going to carefully mark that week on my next Calendar perhaps even plan on doing a “Black Feast” for it and invited a few friends to dress up in their vampire or Goth best.   It is something worth planning for.  

And now I must go,  I have to make sure that Doyle and Brian place the T.V. screen in the right place.

Later Darklings 

       But I must confess Darklings my Heart belongs to Christopher Lee.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Of family, updates and Poizin wine~~~

Hello Darklings,

I know, I know I have been a naughty girl not posting like I should but I have perfectly good excuse.

I’ve been busy.

See as simple as that I’ve been busy.   O.K. what have I been busy with?   Well working with the trust that was set up by my Great Aunt on the house to maintain the house and working with contractors to do what work needs to be done.

There were wooden parts to be duplicated and replaced, painting (a Major project), gutter replacement,  Thank Goodness we’re fine on the roof, re-leading the stain glass windows and putting a protective glass cover in front of them that doesn’t detract from the house,  and replacing broken glass on the Green House,  (it was an accident Darklings not vandalism),  and the only thing left is replacing and painting the balustrade on the front porch,  the carving has to be duplicated so it’s a lot of work. 

Then I can start to breathe a bit.

Mother’s Day was fun, we were at my brother’s house and he fired up the grill and made homage to the propane gods with burnt offerings,  it was pot luck really everyone bring their special dish,  and non-alcoholic beverages to drink  although it was cool and we were worried about rain we pretty much landed in my Brother’s Man Cave and ate picnic style and had a wonderful time.

I took my niece to see the ballet “Onegin”  the story was a bit sad for her but she understood why the young lady had to send Onegin away, she was completely entranced by the gracefulness of the ballet, it was completely different in story than the Nutcracker and she had a wonderful appreciation for it.   And I confess it was a treat for me as well.

Now my brother and his family are getting their RV ready for Memorial Weekend, they are going to take the long backward route to Scott’s Valley instead of dealing with the dangers of Highway 17, instead they are taking 101 to 129 to Watsonville, back up 1 to Santa Cruz, by taking that long convoluted route it will take them 4 hours at least but they are prepared for that.   I can understand, I’ve driven 17 and it’s a killer.    Then they can enjoy the civil war re-enactments at Felton and the Santa Cruz Beach and board walk, they’re towing their jeep behind them, Christopher and Coralline are looking forward to it, the twins too, they love loud noises.  

Am I going anywhere for memorial weekend?  No.  I’ve seen how insane it can get, no I will finally enjoy a bit of relaxation at home,  My Sister has a Spa date, really two Spa dates planned for us, at a local Spa resort, and it will include everything, mani-pedi’s, facials, massages, everything that is decadent I will not have to move a finger, I’m going to enjoy it!  

Right now we are suffering with a high wind, pollen blowing around leaves scattering here and there,  such a change after a couple of days of heat, which I think will be a precursor to the Summer that’s to come.   And the weather man is saying possible rain tomorrow, well that put’s question marks over my head.

And now Coralline is a bit worried, she is graduating from the 8th grade into the 9th grade high school, fortunately her brother will be in the 10th grade and can give her guidance.  Some school districts have lower or Elementary, then Middle then High school but here Elementary and Middle are combined.   She’s growing up and she’s a bit worried, it’s a good thing she has a few girl friends who will be suffering the same growing pains as her but with Chris to help her, we think she’ll be fine.    Her grades have been excellent, her parents have been very happy for her, of course there is the possible dip in the grades due to adjustment but we think she’ll level out very quickly.  She is quite focused.   And fortunately she can continue the ballet classes as her P.E. alternative, which is good.    And August is going to be busy for her and her parents, Freshman orientation and all that.    In a way I’m glad I’m an Auntie.

I am finally no longer on  the back up list at my former employers, I’m now back on call, they finally hired a couple of permanent staff, I’m glad it has taken a burden off of me and can go back to enjoying retirement again.

There has been some sadness and excitement across the street, the police had been called twice to Crazy Son’s folks house, I heard that the Mother had passed away and also an Uncle, Crazy Son had been taken away in an EMT ambulance for 72 hour observation, what has been happening I’m not sure, but I’m sure eventually the sister will call me and let me know.  So for now it’s like watching a Soap Opera but waiting on pins and needles for the next installment.

My Gardener has been showing me catalogs of dark blooming plants,  some of them very exciting to behold, unfortunately it’s a little too late to buy and plant them but I’ve got them listed for next year,  I am going to have so much fun!   And he’s found a place that will do  skull cement edging, its special order but they look so fantastic,  there is one side of the house that gets very mossy, I can see them there with moss growing over them,  Ooooo I get chills thinking about it.

So I’ve got to get back on track with my Gothicness again, life has been keeping me busy.  I’ve been having fun stocking up on Armida’s Poizin Zinfandel wine I’ve gotten fond of it Let me explain the Technical aspects of it.  As Advertised it is a lush, delicious and "serious" wine but in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, Bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak.   As they say it is a “Wine to Die for.”   

I have it along with my Vampire Wine and a friend of mine gave me two bottles of a 2010 Merlot with the label on it that announces it as “Dracula’s Blood” it is imported from Romania through the Vampire Wine site

Another friend has given me again from Vampire Wines’  TRUEBLOOD Carneros Pinot Noir  this is described technically as artisan style pinot noir was made from 100% pinot noir grapes that were carefully picked by hand, sorted by hand and then carefully placed in French oak barrels for 15 months before bottling, resulting in an elegant wine.  Cherry, clove, brown sugar, warm spice, with floral accent aromas with cherry and vanilla flavors lead to a refreshing long finish of mixed berries.

I am still looking for other Gothic brews, perhaps even a cocktail mixture to add some “spice” to one’s summer’s night fest. 

Another friend has given me a CD of a Musical titled “Dracula Das Musical” unfortunately it’s all sung in German but the man who sings Dracula, Thomas Borchet has a wonderful Dramatic voice,  so I’ll be hunting on the internet for information and English translations to this.  Perhaps YouTube. 

Yes My Darklings I do have to get back into my Gothic Mode.  

And now to be more prosaic the timer went off on the crock pot so dinner is served. 

Later Darklings